25 CA Counties Now Offering Text, Email Updates on Vote-by-Mail Ballots

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A still from a video released by the California Secretary of State's Office shows sample texts from BallotTrax, a voter tracking tool made available ahead of the March 3, 2020 primary election in California.

A still from a video released by the California Secretary of State’s Office shows sample texts from BallotTrax, a voter tracking tool made available ahead of the March 3, 2020 primary election in California.

Many Californians who vote by mail can now sign up to get a text, email or call about the status of their ballots—from the time they’re sent out to when they’re counted.

Twenty-five counties have started offering the service ahead of the March 3 primary.

In Southern California, all counties except for San Bernardino, San Diego and Santa Barbara counties are offering the new “Where’s My Ballot?” tool to their voters, according to the California Secretary of State’s Office.

Those interested can sign up to receive updates on california.ballottrax.net/voter, the agency said. They can opt to receive automatic updates in their preferred method of communication when their county officials have mailed their ballot, received their ballot, and counted them. Voters will also be alerted should issues arise.

 

“Shoppers are already used to receiving updates on their online retail purchases, from shipment to delivery. Now we can offer the same service to voters,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said in a statement. “Voters who sign up for ‘Where’s My Ballot?’ can rest assured that their vote-by-mail ballots are accounted for at every stage of delivery. Signing-up takes just a couple of minutes, and voters will enjoy automatic updates on the delivery status of their vote-by-mail ballot for each and every election.”

Well over half of California voters mailed their ballots in 2016.

Two years later, a state assembly bill required the Secretary of State to establish a free system that would allow voters to learn if their ballot has been counted or not.

Officials contracted Denver, Colorado-based software company i3logix to customize its BallotTrax tool for Californians, the Secretary of State’s Office said.

“As vote-by-mail continues to grow among California voters, I urge every county elections office to adopt the ‘Where’s My Ballot?’ tool — our latest step in further modernizing elections in California,” Padilla said.

Absentee and early voting for the March 3 primary have started in parts of the state, including in Los Angeles County.

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